Meeting expectations

Jon Lever advises supervisors and counsellors how to run three-monthly meetings

APC-SeriesThe three-monthly meetings are an integral part of your candidate’s APC journey and a key opportunity to review your candidate’s progress. Failure to convene regular meetings can impact on their development.

However, while it is convenient to refer to “three-monthly meetings”, it is important to remember that different candidates following different APC routes may have different needs or require different frequency of meetings, either permanently or at certain times. I suggest the following:

  • 24-month structured training (Grad 1) – three-monthly meetings (monthly in the last six months)
  • 12-month structured training (Grad 2) – three-monthly meetings (monthly in the last six months)
  • APC preliminary – monthly meetings before and after the preliminary review
  • APC other (Grad 3) – monthly meetings (generally a six-month lead-in)
  • APC senior professional – monthly meetings (Generally a six-month lead-in).

This article focuses on the 24-month structured training candidate, as this is the most labour-intensive APC route. The following suggestions and considerations may help you deliver your three-monthly meetings more effectively.

Who is involved and when?

The RICS stipulates that the minimum requirement should be a meeting with the supervisor every three months and the supervisor and counsellor every six months. I suggest a meeting with all parties every three months as the true minimum – more regularly if possible. Who wants to play catch up after any meeting? It is much better for all to be involved and the meetings should be much shorter if there is positive engagement from all parties.

Meeting arrangements

Make sure you motivate your candidate to arrange the meetings in advance, book them in everyone’s diaries and empower them to manage and chair the meetings. If any of the meetings need to be cancelled for any reason, then ensure they are reconvened as soon as possible. I suggest within seven days of the cancellation, because any longer than that and the meetings get forgotten and start to not happen, which will only become detrimental to your candidate and their APC journey.

Candidate preparation and review

Ensure your candidate prepares for the meetings. You will want to see what they have been recording and receive an up-to-date copy of their templates completed and provided to you a week before the meeting. Get your candidate to produce a review of their progress since the last meeting and present their progress to you at the beginning of each meeting. You need the candidate to critique their progress and offer relevant knowledge and working examples of their experience so that you can consider their competency levels and achievement.

If your candidate is using ARC for their templates then they will need to have a live log-in to show you this detail on screen as there is no supervisor element or any output reports available from ARC. See the DeLever myAPC Diary for an all-inclusive APC management tool which is intuitive and saves you at least 60% of the APC administrative burden.

Competency achievement and sign-off

It is important to develop your candidate’s competency achievement over time. Hopefully at each three-monthly meeting they will have recorded some significant progress across their declared competencies and Levels 1, 2 and 3, so that you can discuss the appropriateness of their achievements and examples. If you feel the examples are too weak then defer the sign-off and agreement to the next three-month meeting.

You will hopefully see and realise now, as time progresses, how important it is to address this early as leaving this to the last minute will exert undue pressure – on the candidate to come up with the examples, and on you to have time to discuss and approve said examples. It is this lack of interaction that causes a few of the submission documents to be signed off without proper review, because the task becomes overbearing and cumbersome if left to the end, rather than dealt with properly along your candidate’s APC journey.

Planning for the next meeting

Once the candidate’s progress has been recorded, reviewed, discussed and agreed on, the next step is to plan the next three months of the APC programme. Discuss and agree achievable goals and targets and the date for the next meeting.

Recording meetings

There are some basic templates, provided by the RICS, that can be used and they are a useful suggestion if you have nothing else. However, when I am mentoring candidates, we have a full set of minutes and action points agreed and recorded by the candidate and submitted back to me for approval within seven days of the meeting.

As an additional resource, why not audio record the sessions as smart devices all have a recording function and make life very easy. Recordings can be reviewed for the production of minutes or progress, or even as your candidate travels around for the next three months and needs a refresher on what actions need to be achieved.

I hope some of these tips are of benefit, and remember: all engagement with your candidate(s) and their APC can be relevant CPD.


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Jon Lever FRICS is the RICS’ UK licensed assessor trainer, a RICS regional training adviser, an APC chairman of assessors and a member of the RICS’ governing council. Follow Jon on Twitter @deleverapc

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